Using the technique of false color, art photographer Aaron Knight produces a tailored color palette. The method is inspired by his training in oil painting, imagining colors that are conceivable, but without a mandate to duplicate reality. This process also pays homage to the classic technique of hand-colored photography where manipulated colors embellish reality. This process helps shift the plot toward the realm of fiction. Through this often painterly effect, color is applied selectively to areas of the image. This connects Knight to his training as a painter, tinting shadows to be cool and highlights to be warm to enhance the illusion of depth as well as evoking an emotional response: a warm-toned subject appears to protrude from cool-toned surroundings.
The selective use of color can set the mood for a scene, diminish some elements, and emphasize others. Bright, warm colors punctuate a composition: a halo around a figure or a highlight on a hand or face. Knight will use brighter colors to enhance the contours of the body and muted colors to homogenized negative spaces of the background.